Pet of the Day

August 16, 1998

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Mandy, the Pet of the Day
Name: Mandy
Age: Ten years old
Gender: Female
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Home: Marlton, New Jersey, USA
 
   Mandy was my very best friend. She passed away two years ago, but will never leave my heart. She taught herself to retrieve the newspaper and wouldn't let anyone else think of doing "her job" no matter what the weather. On walks she always held her own leash, and "permitted" me to accompany her on our walks throughout the neighborhood. I was known as "Mandy's Mom" by the children who would ask if she could come out to play. Passing cars would stop to ask about her and comment on how pretty she was. She had so much personality and unconditional love. She made us all happy with her sweetness and licked away tears if anyone was sad. She never realized how sick she had been since she was one year old. She had Addison's Disease (her adrenal glands were non-functional) and she depended on medication to live for her ten years of life. She had so much personality and gave total unconditional love. I miss her and will always love her.

    Mandy was a very happy dog and never knew how serious her condition was except when she had a "crisis." Addison's Disease is very uncommon. It is not predominant in Labrador Retrievers. In fact, the veterinarian that I took her to had a very large practice (six physicians) and Mandy and a Standard Poodle were the only animals with the disease. The poodle had a mild case while Mandy's was severe.

    Addison's Disease is caused when the adrenal cortex is destroyed and no longer produces hormones. The immune system produces antibodies that attack the body's own tissues. The dog gets very weak, nauseated and very tired. She took 12 pills of fludrocortisone, one tablet of predisone and extra salt daily. When she was responding well to the medicine, which was most of the time, she was a happy energetic dog.

    Stress would cause her to go into a crisis. I went away for five days once, had three different people she knew come to our house to care for her throughout the time, and she still went into a crisis because I wasn't there with her. I had to keep her days very routine for the most part. She took a lot of special care, but I am thankful that I was chosen to care for her and love her.
 

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